10 Ways to Save on Bookings
Category : Blog
1. Search and book on Tuesdays or Wednesdays: Did you know that airlines change their airfares mid-week? Some know that most people get around to booking on weekends so they change their fares to higher at the end of the week and they advertise cheaper airfare sometimes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
2. Travel on Tuesday or Wednesday if possible. Obviously, most family travel happens on weekends. If you have an extended break think about traveling on a Sunday instead of a Friday or Saturday. If you can travel Tuesdays or Thursdays. For example, my family is going to the Hawaiian Island of Kauai this Christmas. I found roundtrip airfare from San Diego for $378 on a Wednesday to Wednesday which increased to $538 in it was Thursday-Sunday.
3. Book about 10 weeks in advance. Especially international airfare hits its bottom point about 10 weeks before the flight takes off. This is why I would book summer tickets home to the USA from abroad around late to early April.
4. Know airfares are posted 330 days in advance. If you are going to a highly sought after area during a high holiday time it most likely is best to book as soon as airfare comes open. As mentioned before I got a round-trip ticket from San Diego to Kauai in February for a Mele-Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas in Hawaiian) for $378. However, when my mother went to book in June to meet us there, the airfare from multiple airports in Northern California was over $1300.
5. Know your local airport options and airline hubs. If you are in a large metropolitan airline it might be worth knowing what airlines fly in and out of airports near you. Then go to their sites to double check deals. For example, Alaskan flys through San Deigo airport often. If I want to go a little further I can drive 90 minutes to LAX Los Angles that might open up better one-way deals for me. Also, Tijuana airport just opened a terminal for check-in on the USA side of the border. This could open up cheaper “domestic” tickets within Mexico if I wanted to vacation there. I know all this because I’ve researched the airports around me.
6. Don’t be afraid to book multiple tickets to save. This is sometimes called a Hacker Fare on Kayak where it searches and finds a match to your search but is literally two different reservations. For example, if you are flying from San Diego to Washington DC it might find that flying Frontier Airlines there to DCA and then United Airlines back through IAD would be the best deal.
7. Know local airlines to book with them. This trick is particularly helpful if you are willing to incorporate stop-overs into your itinerary. For example, in March 2015 we flew from Saudi Arabia to South Africa Johannesburg on Saudia Airlines. Spent two days with friends then took a local carrier to Cape Town. By booking two roundtrips: Dammam-Jo-berg and Jo-berg to Cape Town, we were able to save.
8. Sign-Up for Frequent Flier Programs: I know many travelers have an opinion on this. Sometimes it’s worth being tied to an airline and alliance and sometimes it’s not. However, no matter how you accumulate your miles, you can get good deals emailed directly from airlines.
9. Start at flight matrix: This is where I start browsing for airfares 9 out of every 10 searches I make. Even though Google Flights has bought them out, for some reason I like the interface of Flight Matrix. It is easy to navigate and if you search with a flexible month then you can really see the soft spots and deals within a certain route.
10. Use multiple searching sites. Shop around and know that different booking sites will give you different options. I would suggest at least Matrix, Google Flights, Momondo, and Kayak. This is another reason why when I make a personalized itinerary for you, I provide you with three options.